Brave Blossoms

Japan rugby team, known as the Brave Blossom. Image via @AndyVermaut on

Brave Blossoms snag a Springbok legend!

Victor Matfield joins Eddie Jones’ Brave Blossoms as Technical Advisor, enhancing their coaching team for the upcoming test against England.

Brave Blossoms

Japan rugby team, known as the Brave Blossom. Image via @AndyVermaut on

Victor Matfield, the legendary former Springbok, is now the Technical Advisor for Eddie Jones’ Brave Blossoms. This strategic move comes as the team prepares for their upcoming test match against England.

Eddie Jones Finalises Coaching Team

Eddie Jones has assembled his coaching team, and the inclusion of Matfield, the most capped Springbok with 127 caps, is a notable highlight.

The squad will gather at their training base in Miyazaki on Kyushu island starting 6 June. They will stay until the end of the domestic summer match series.

From there, they will travel to various host cities for their test matches and two non-capped matches.

Brave Blossoms: Key Coaching Appointments

Neal Hatley has joined as Coaching Coordinator. Hatley has a long history of working with Jones in various coaching capacities, most recently with the Wallabies as Forwards Coach.

Owen Franks, a former All Black with 108 caps, is now Assistant Coach. Matfield joins as Technical Advisor. These experienced additions will bring a wealth of knowledge to the Brave Blossoms coaching team.

New Faces in Japan’s Training Squad

Jones has selected twelve uncapped players for the 35-man training squad, including two university players. This young talent will join the team in preparation for the test match against England.

The training camp will commence on 6 June in Miyazaki Prefecture. Japan will face England at Tokyo’s National Stadium on 22 June.

This match marks the team’s first under Jones since his return as head coach after Jamie Joseph’s departure post-World Cup.

Emerging Talents and New Opportunities

Promising players like Mamoru Harada from Brave Lupus Tokyo and Taiki Koyama from Saitama Wild Knights look to make their test debuts. Both impressed in the Japan Rugby League One season.

Teikyo University’s Tsubasa Moriyama and Waseda University’s Kenji Sato have also been called up. Jones has highlighted his vision for a “super-fast” style of Japanese rugby.

These young players are expected to be key in this new approach.

Experienced Players and Notable Absences

The squad includes experienced players like Michael Leitch, former national captain and current Brave Lupus skipper, and Rikiya Matsuda, the Wild Knights flyhalf who was Japan’s first-choice No. 10 at the 2023 World Cup.

However, the team will miss World Cup captain Kazuki Himeno due to injury. Veteran back Kotaro Matsushima has opted out.

Brave Blossoms: Preparing for the Challenge Ahead

As the Brave Blossoms gear up for their test match against England, the inclusion of seasoned professionals like Matfield and Franks will enhance the team’s performance. With Eddie Jones’ strategic appointments and the infusion of young talent, the future looks promising for Japanese rugby.